My Life-Defining College Education: Narrative Essay

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My first college course was philosophy, and it changed my life forever. Our first task was to write a short essay in response to Albert Camus’ article 'The Myth of Sisyphus'. I am very nervous about homework and university. However, despite the confusion in the philosophy class, many of my questions about life have been answered. My purpose in entering the university is to obtain an engineering degree. I have always liked the way mathematics has right and wrong answers. I understand logic, and I am very good at it. Therefore, when I received my first philosophical assignment asking me to write an explanation of Camus' article, I was immediately confused. I want to know what is the correct way to accomplish this task. I am nervous about writing wrong explanations and don't want to make mistakes in my first assignment. More worryingly, the professor refused to provide us with guidance on what he was looking for; it gave us total freedom. He simply said, “I want to see what comes to you”. Filled with anxiety, I started reading Camus' article many times to make sure I really knew what it was about. I do my best to take notes seriously. However, even if I write these notes and know the inside and outside of the article, I still don't know the correct answer. What is my explanation? I can think of a million different ways to explain this article, but which one is my teacher looking for? In math class, he is used to giving examples and explanations. This task didn't give me anything; I went to my personal performance entirely by myself. Then, when I sat down to write, these words did not appear on me. My notes and thoughts are present, but the text is lost. I decided to try all the prewriting strategies I could find. I brainstormed, made an idea map, and even wrote an outline. In the end, after undergoing a lot of pressure, my thoughts became more organized and the words fell on the pages of the book. I have my own interpretation of the 'Sisyphus Myth', and I have the main reason why I explain this article. I remember I was not sure of myself and wanted to know if what I said made sense or if I was on the right track. In all the uncertainty, I keep writing to the best of my ability. I finished the final paragraph, asked my spouse to correct the mistake, and came back the next day, hoping for the best. Then, after a week or two, Judgment Day came. The teacher returned our work with notes and comments. I remember being scared and eager to get the paper back in my hands. However, it turns out that I have nothing to worry about. The teacher gave me an A on the essay, and his notes suggested that I write an overall effective essay. He wrote that my reading of this article is very original and my thoughts are well organized.

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I cannot overemphasize my relief and new confidence. What I learned in this process goes far beyond how to write a college essay. I learned to be open to new challenges. I never thought I would like to take a philosophy class. I always wanted to be a math and science person. However, this course and homework gave me confidence, critical thinking skills, and the courage to try a new career. I dropped out of engineering, continued to study law, and eventually became a lawyer. More importantly, that course and work helped me understand education in different ways. I did not see university as a direct stepping stone to a career. Instead, I learned to see university as a place to study first and then pursue a career or improve an existing career. By giving me space to express my own interpretation and uphold my own values, my philosophy class taught me the importance of education for the sake of education. This recognition continues to pay dividends every day.

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My Life-Defining College Education: Narrative Essay. (2023, October 11). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 18, 2024, from
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